Romania’s education minister resigns after plagiarism accusations

BUCHAREST, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Romania’s Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu resigned under public pressure on Thursday night after allegations he plagiarized a university course he had taught.

He denied the allegations and said he took the course again with the consent of his other authors.

Plagiarism is widespread in the EU state among lawmakers, former ministers and magistrates, eroding trust in public institutions.

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Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca has himself been accused of plagiarizing parts of his doctoral thesis on military science, allegations he denies.

An investigation by news site PressOne has alleged that Cimpeanu, a former university rector who has served as education minister three times since 2014, plagiarized 13 chapters from a course he taught at the University agronomy and veterinary medicine.

Cimpeanu was first appointed as education minister under a cabinet led by leftist former prime minister Victor Ponta, who returned his doctorate after plagiarism charges against him were confirmed.

Since then, policymakers have reduced the ability of academia to fight plagiarism.

Under Cimpeanu, the ministry worked on a package of changes to education laws. One of the provisions would impose a three-year statute of limitations on plagiarism charges. The government has not yet approved the changes.

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Reporting by Luiza Ilie Editing by Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Helen D. Jessen